Compromise joint bars, like this prototype example on the former GR&I in Richmond IN, are used to connect to different size and weights of rail. Until recently modelers had to make do with bits of plastic or nothing at all. The typical solution is to take an ordinary slip-on rail joiner and flatten one half of it. then solder the smaller of the two rail sizes to the flattened portion for a mechanical and electrical connection. ¬†It works, it’s pragmatic¬†and it’s ugly.

I had a joint on the Pole Track between codes 125 and 100 rail right at the front of the layout, where I soldered the two together; painted and weathered it and moved on. I bought some of John Pautz’s new compromise joint bars and decided they weren’t doing any good in the bag.

American Switch and Signal compromise joint bars


Installing them required cleaning up the solder on the rail joint, so the contoured bars would fit properly. Both rails have electrical feed wires, so no conductivity was lost from broken solder. The bars are right and left handed to fit both sides of the rail and look great, even when one does a lousy job of installing them like I’ve done here.

Code 125 to code 100 compromise bars


Painted and weathered they blend in nicely and add that extra touch of realism. AS&S continues to bring outstanding products to market that make accurate track modeling a joy. Check out the line on the Protocraft website.